It is very common for us to see foreigners claiming to be ‘Pinoys’ at heart as they profess their love and affection for the Philippines. There is nothing wrong with doing so, but when these same people use anything Pinoy to create content that sensationalizes anything—like making mundane findings into “shattering” discoveries, then there is something wrong. With that said, let us then look as to why foreigners just love using our country for clicks.
How it happens
As per a report released last January this year by We Are Social and Hootsuite, Filipinos end up spending the most time on social media platforms, averaging four hours and 15 minutes per day—more than every other region in the world. It was no surprise to find that some foreign content creators enjoy making videos about the Philippines, the world’s social media capital.
M.A. Buendia, a Filipino vlogger, podcaster, and Ripple awardee, believes that ‘Pinoy baiting’ reflects the Philippines’ reaction to global validation.
“Pinoy baiting is a marketing strategy used by creators to attract Filipino audience[s] and fans. Foreign Youtubers [exaggerate] reaction videos to our singers; series, tv shows, and films involving the Philippines in their plotline,” Buendia stated in his tweet.
“It’s effective [because] our thirst for global validation is real,” he added.
Those who use social media and video-sharing sites are likely to be familiar with these. It is like a virus that appears out of nowhere in the online world. Every time there are videos or stories about Filipinos accomplishing great things, expect a flood of comments from fellow Filipinos. It is understandable, especially if those are accomplishments of Filipinos in sports or fields of expertise.
How they do it
There are, however, foreign content creators who use Filipino culture, tradition, or anything remotely Pinoy to boost the popularity and views of their content. Their extravagant reactions to anything related to our country elicit a great deal of engagement from the Filipinos who consume this type of content, believing that these foreigners are genuinely interested.
According to Jigs Arquiza, a journalist-turned-mechanic from the Philippine island of Cebu, including the words Philippines, Filipino, or any variation thereof ensures the YouTuber instant likes, if not subscribers. Many Filipinos seem to admire these foreign vloggers as they speak well of our country and its people.
It is not inherently wrong to talk positively about the culture of the Philippines. However, doing so for the sake of fame and fortune, with plenty of deception and fabrication, is.
Pinoy baiting and the Filipinos’ sense of validation are inextricably linked, with one perceived as a direct outcome or cause of the other. The excitement that Filipinos feel when they hear exaggerated compliments from foreigners infects them with the Pinoybaiting virus.
The Philippines possesses a one-of-a-kind charm that others cannot find anywhere else; some foreigners even opt to live here permanently. However, to claim that a week-long trip without even immersing yourself in local life and say that it has transformed you into a completely different person seems deceptive.
Pinoybaiting serves as a wake-up call for Filipinos to avoid mindlessly clicking on anything with the word “Philippines.” Filipinos do not require validation from foreigners; the Philippines truly has its magic. As the online world expands, it is critical to distinguish between works that are well-researched by creators who genuinely care about the Philippines and contents that are unrealistic and machiavellian. Pinoybaiting spreads quickly as a virus, but viewers can overcome it with open-mindedness as a key.
LAYOUT BY: Cristine Joie Q. Bacud
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